Who says I can’t endure camping during winter? Winter has its own beauty to share. It could be more challenging than other seasons, but for me, it offers the best view and peace. That is how I feel when backpacking in snowy trails.
The main technique is to go equipped for the trip. Of course, that means packing all the supplies to survive and making certain you are fit for the long hike and high climbs. No matter what lies ahead, my tips for winter camping can help you out.
Are you prepared?
8 Helpful Winter Camping Tips for All Camping Style
It does not matter how you winter camp, these techniques will always come in handy. My favorite way to camp is to use a hammock. I find it hassle-free and practical to use. If you love hammock but your campsite have no trees, you can check this guide.
#1. Bring Spare Pair of Gloves, Socks, and Hat
Do not forget to pack a spare of your winter hats, socks and gloves. These little things are easily misplaced or lost during the trip. Worse is, they are far important to miss. Therefore, when things get wrong, at least you need to come prepared on how to deal with frostbite and hypothermia.
#2. Expect the Urge to Pee Often
I am not telling you not to drink a lot of liquid to avoid peeing frequently. In fact, you need water as much as possible to prevent dehydration during the winter hike. I feel you when you say it is extremely troublesome to undress and undo the sleeping bags every now and then.
As a woman, in particular, my creativity is a challenge during these stressful moments. No, I never want to learn how to pee standing (gross!), so you cannot imagine how grateful I am when the silicone pee funnel for women came out on the market.
If it is unfortunate, you do not have one; may I suggest a pee bottle perhaps? Please label it to avoid confusion. You know what I mean.
#3. Find the Perfect Site
Search for your personal space. Privacy is the main reason amongst some other awesome things is the reason why I am a hammock aficionado. I purposely hang a little distance from the group. After all, camping is to give me time to relax and rest.
Look for a spot that is covered from wind and far from unexpected avalanche hazard. It is better to be safe than putting yourself in danger or the woe of transferring from one camp to the other. By the way, do not forget to pack down the snow before pitching your tent. It will keep you safe from stepping into a soft part and rip your floor.
A hill nearby or trees can be used as natural wind blockers. However, make sure that you will not pitch your tent or hang your hammock under unstable trees. It will be a tragedy if a big branch falls over you.
Think about water source. It would be convenient to camp nearby a lake or a spring. Keep a safe distance from the water. You do not want to wake up cold and wet, do you?
Determine where the sun will rise. Watching the sunrise is a memorable moment for me while camping especially on winter days. The feel of the warmth gives me refreshing energy after a cold, snowy night.
#4. Keep Yourself Warm
The thick winter outfits are not the only way to warm yourself up. Eating the right kind of food helps too. Drink hot chocolate, coffee or a shot of alcohol to keep your body warm and make a meal that is high in calories. Therefore, never forget to pack the stove.
How about exercise? When I could not bear the stiffness anymore, I go out and do jumping jacks, jog around or do some stretches. When I crawl back to my den, I find comfort in hugging a bottle filled with hot water. Remember; do not leave your boots cold outside.
If you prefer to use electronics for light, know that cold weather kills the battery power out. Keep the cell phones, batteries, and lamps where it stays warm. I suggest you use lithium batteries since they are lighter and lasts longer.
Furthermore, do not be afraid to use candles at night. Candle generates heat that circulates inside the tent. Hang the candles safely far from you, and the ceiling to prevent fire accidents. Indeed, candlelight is romantic, and it makes you want to snuggle with each other for warmth too!
#5. Bring the Right Gears
Do not be mistaken to bring the summer gears when it is supposed to be winter since it could be a disaster. The basic needs should be a durable tent, a warm and cozy sleeping bags, and pads. For those hammock enthusiasts, I remind you to bring your hammock underquilt and tarp as well.
However, the weather is unpredictable. For strong winds and heavy snowfall, a sturdy tent is practical. If you can, use a tent good for two or more. It will give you space to move around as needed.
Pack as light as possible, but always prepare yourself for severe winter conditions.
#6. Secure the campsite before dozing off
Before sleeping, ensure that you tie around the tree or bury in the snow all the stuff that wind can easily blow away. Place them in areas that are easy to spot, and store them upright so you can still see them even when it snows. Check lighted candles and place to safety before you set your tent on fire.
And hey, listen! Do not sleep with your face buried under the covers. You might suffocate. What will your fellow campers do then??
#7. Learn Camping Skills
Camping in the cold winter wild is a matter of survival. Start learning the following skills. It would be fun!
Learn how to start a fire. This is tough during rainy and cold days. I suggest mastering this firsthand.
- Pitch the tent by yourself. It is a pity to wait for someone to do it for you.
- Master cooking outdoors. Leave comfort behind and make it work.
- Know how to purify water. It sounds complicated I know, but it is essential.
- Be familiar with how to cross a river. The fun never stops in one place.
- Camping is to walk, climb, and of course, cross that river over there.
#8. It’s never a good idea to go alone
Winter is tricky. It’s cold and bitter out there. GO with a group or a friend. Inform your plans to family and friends before hitting the trail. A night of solitude could be tempting but too risky.
If you choose your backpacking gang, at least include one that is medically equipped, an expert on treks or knowledgeable of the place at least. Safety comes first so verify the weather forecast beforehand.
You can make winter camping warm and fun. I have learned that planning and making it happen is a big help. That is why I am sharing with you these winter camping tips to make your ventures a bit easier. If I can tell you stories about my first times as a camper, it would be painfully hilarious.
What do you think? Am I a big help for your upcoming trip? If you have questions, just drop a message, and I will be happy to reply. Have a safe camping!
Lauren is the founder of CleverAdventurer, where she shares her knowledge, tips about hiking, camping, backpacking in the wild. She is a young blogger who is very passionate about outdoor activities. She wishes to share her experience during the adventure with people who have the same passion.